Laws of Play
AFLM Laws include some minor variations to maximise the enjoyment of the game while reducing the risk of injury for older players.
These Modified or Exempt Laws are to be read in conjunction with the existing AFL Laws of Australian Football. They have been indexed so they are easier to be crossed referenced. If a modification or exception is not listed here, the AFL Law applies.
5.3.2 Team Sheets:
It is the team manager or other designated team official’s responsibility to lodge Team Sheets before a match is to commence. Under no circumstances are matches to commence without team sheets being lodged by both teams to the umpires.
6.1 Team Officials and Team Runners:
Team Runner: Can come onto the ground anytime, they must not be in the vicinity of play or interfere with play. They are to only deliver messages directly to players and then leave the field of play immediately. Should a team have two runners, only one runner can be on the ground at a time.
Water Carriers: Must be a minimum age of 14yo. Water carriers can go onto the ground at any time. They cannot interfere with play, loiter on the ground, or occupy space on the football field. They cannot barrack, give directions, or communicate with players other than in providing water.
Recommencement of play after a point is scored, for clarity: No team official can be inside the 50m arc on any recommencement of play after a point is scored, the only exception is trainers/medical staff attending to an injured player.
Please note: Runners and water carriers must follow the instructions of all umpires, failing to do so could result in a free kick to the opposition team and/or them being yellow or red carded.
Enclosed footwear: Enclosed footwear must be worn at all times by any person entering the field of play. For clarity, no part of the foot can be exposed.
7. Interchange rules:
At AFL Masters National Carnivals, the number of rotations is unlimited and can be made at any time
7.3 Use of a Stretcher and further participation in the Carnival:
A player stretchered off the ground comes under the existing AFL Rule 7.3. Further to that, any player may not participate further in the carnival unless cleared to do so by a doctor, including the Carnival Doctor. This also includes when a stretcher is called and brought onto the ground, but the injured player does not leave the playing surface on the stretcher.
8.1.2 (c) No Boundary Umpire appointed:
Should boundary umpires not be appointed, unless the football is deemed out of bounds on the full, the field umpire shall bring the football 20m into the playing field from the boundary line (in line with the centre circle) and ball it up.
9. Player boots, Jewellery and Protective Equipment:
Additional to the existing AFL law and for clarification, only soft bucket type hats with no hard edges can be worn on the field of play. Peaked caps are not allowed along with any hat deemed a risk to players.
In relation to any form of spectacles including sunglasses, these must be approved to wear by the controlling body, any player wishing to do so has to provide a letter of request to the controlling body and the request be approved in writing by the controlling body.
10.1.1 Match duration:
All National Carnival Matches shall consist of 4 x 15-minute quarters with no time on.
The amount of time for intervals between quarters and matches shall be determined by the controlling body and provided prior to each Carnival.
Time Clock stopped: The only exception is time on shall be called when a stretcher or an ambulance is required on the ground by medical staff. Time on being called shall be determined solely by the field umpires, then AFL rule 11.1.2 shall apply.
Time clocks will stop once the field umpires’ signals “time on”. Then, unless AFL rule 11.1.2 has needed to be implemented, resumption of play is when the injured person is completely off the ground or the Ambulance has left the ground and the umpires deems it is safe to do so.
It is solely at the discretion of the controlling body for a time clock to be stopped for any other reason.
13.1 (a & b) Starting positions:
Both these 6-6-6 rules do not apply at National Carnivals.
For the avoidance of doubt, four players from each team are permitted in the centre square and there is no need for a player from each team to commence from within the goal square.
13.2 Contesting the centre bounce or around the ground:
Additional to the AFL Law, at all times the ball shall be thrown up and not bounced by the field umpire.
A free kick shall be awarded against any ruck who raises their knee or leg against their opponent in all ruck contests.
17.1 Procedure after a behind has been scored:
Unless rule 16.4 applies, after a behind is scored the play cannot recommence until the Goal Umpires has signalled a behind and they have completed waving the flag. Play may then recommence under the existing AFL rule.
18.3 Prohibited Contact, further to existing AFL Law:
Charging, any front on contact, slinging or any form of rough play is prohibited. This shall be determined by any field umpire where the amount of physical force used is unreasonable or unnecessary irrespective of ball’s proximity, this could also result in a yellow or red card.
18.5 Marking the Football.
In addition to existing AFL rules, the player in front of a pack competing for a mark is to be given every protection and opportunity to take the mark. Any unnecessary interference by an opponent player/s in attempting to mark or prevent the player in front of the pack from taking the mark shall result in a free kick being awarded to the player in front of the pack. The interference could take the form of a knee or boot being raised and/or contact with a player’s body.
18.9.2 Deliberate Out of Bounds:
(b) does not apply, free kicks will not be paid for deliberate out of bounds in these instances.
However, in relation to a ruck contest, the field umpire shall award a free kick against a player who hits a football over the boundary line on the full.
18.11 Deliberate Rushed Behinds:
Rules 18.11.2 (a), (b) & (c) do not apply.
Rule 18.11.2 (d) does apply. A free kick shall only be award against a defending player from a ruck contest that hits the football over the goal line or behind line on the full.
19.4 50m Penalties:
Rule (f) does not apply. Players cannot play on or play recommence until the umpire has advanced 50m, set the mark and signalled play can restart.
20.1 Standing the mark:
In Masters an opposition player may stand on the mark and may move along a lateral line to the protected area without advancing beyond the mark (same as in the past).
23.5 Order Off Specified Period:
Player or Official is ordered off for that quarter plus the next.
Player can be replaced immediately.
Player or Official is ordered off for the remainder of the match and can be replaced immediately. They cannot participate in any further games that same day.
There shall be a Tribunal called to hear all red card offences, this is normally held on the same day.
Please refer to the Laws of Australian Football under Rule 22 “Reporting Players and Officials”.
Should a report be sustained the Player or Officials State, or Territory could lose match points.
Best and Fairest Awards in relation to eligibility:
Any player receiving a RED or 2 YELLOW Cards during the Carnival is not eligible for a fairest and best award.
AFL Masters takes head knocks and concussion seriously and we will always attempt to follow best practices in this area, as outlined by the AFL and referenced in the attached documents. These policies and protocols shall be followed at all times, as the safety and welfare of all participants is a priority.
Read the Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football
Read the Management of Sport-Related Concussion in Australian Football FAQs
Read the Return to Play Following Concussion Checklist
Read the Return to Play Medical Clearance Form
The AFL-approved guidelines for the management of sport-related concussion in Australian Football provide guidance on the best way to assess and manage concussion amongst players at all levels below the AFL / AFLW competitions.
If the law is not listed or referenced here, the AFL Law applies.
The guidelines have been developed to assist community football leagues, clubs, players, parents, coaches, trainers & other stakeholders on how to assess and manage any player who has suffered concussion or is suspected of having a concussion. The most important steps in initial management include:
|Recognising a suspected concussion.|
|Removing the player from the match or training.|
|Referring the player to a medical doctor for assessment.|
|Where there is no medical doctor present to assess the player, or the diagnosis of concussion cannot be ruled out at the time of injury, the player must not be allowed to return to play in the same match / training session.|
Important steps for return to play following concussion include:
|A brief period of complete physical and cognitive rest (24-48 hours).|
|A period of symptom-limited activity (e.g., reading, walking) to allow full recovery.|
|A graded loading program (with monitoring).|
|Clearance by a medical doctor (prior to returning to competitive contact sport / full contact training sessions).|
Players should not enter the graded loading program until they have recovered from their concussion. Recovery means that all concussion-related symptoms and signs have fully resolved (for at least 24 hours) at rest and with activities of daily living, and they have successfully returned to work or school, without restrictions.
The earliest that a player may return to play (once they have successfully completed a graded loading program and they have obtained medical clearance) is on the 12th day following the concussion.
The AFL-approved concussion management app HeadCheck (www.headcheck.com.au) should be utilised to recognise and assist in the management of any suspected concussion for both adults and children.
Player and Officials Suspensions/De-Registrations
All Players, Officials and Stakeholders must understand AFL Masters have a responsibility to protect all participants and the game of AFL Masters Football. That being so, the following by-law in relation to Suspensions and De-Registrations has been adopted:
To clarify, the following shall apply:
1. Any player or official who has been de-registered or is currently serving a suspension stemming from any competition Australia wide including AFL Master’s cannot participate in an AFL Masters National Carnival.
Furthermore, not being permitted to participate in an AFL Masters National Carnival while currently serving any suspension does not form any part of that suspension or count towards games suspended.
Any person de-registered must have had their registration reinstated by the AFL, their affiliates or AFL Masters before they can register and participate in an AFL Masters National Carnival.
Please refer to the AFL Australian Football Player & Official National De-Registration Policy for further clarification.
2. Any player or official who is suspended from an incident during an AFL Masters National Carnival, should that suspension be beyond that Carnival itself must serve the full or part of that suspension in a local Masters competition.
For further clarity, that player or official cannot participate in any AFL Masters Competition National Wide until the suspension is fully served.
In relation to any player or official who is playing or involved in a non-Masters local competition:
AFL Masters shall notify the AFL of any suspensions or de-registrations that result from an AFL Masters National Carnival. It shall then be up to the AFL to decide on whether any player or official can participate in their competitions.